Recently, my family and I visited the beautiful and historic Jekyll Island. In my very humble opinion, it is one of the most beautiful places in the South. While the beaches might not be as pristine as the Caribbean due to their proximity to the intracoastal waterway and marshes, they’re home to many varieties of marine life and some of the prettiest live oaks that you’ll ever see. Jekyll Island has a storied past full of triumph and trials, and I’m happy to share part of our visit to historic Jekyll Island with you.
If I can make one recommendation for something that you must do on Jekyll Island, it would be to tell you to take the historic Jekyll Island Tram tour that departs from the Jekyll Island Museum. You can do a self-guided walking tour, but you might miss an opportunity to meet an amusing 5 year old (like my son) who would give you their version of the story; He shared a tale about Mrs. Rockefeller and her long forgotten opossum. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to share your tour with a curious kid, at roughly $16 per person for adults and $7 for children over age 7, it is one of the best values on the island. The tram tours last 90 minutes, and embark three times per day.
The tram tour includes interior tours of two Jekyll Island cottages: Indian Mound which was owned by the Rockefeller’s, and Mistletoe. both homes contain a mixture of original and period furnishings. They provide a peek into what life was like during Jekyll Island’s golden era when some of America’s most prominent families were “roughing it” there during the winter months. You’ll learn about Jekyll Islands transition from a exclusive, privately owned island club to its subsequent desertion, and ultimate transition to a beautiful Georgia State Park.
They no longer allow photography inside the cottages; if you want to see what the interior looks like, you’ll have to take the tour yourself. Many of the antiques inside the home are exquisite. One of my favorites is the vintage Louis Vuitton suitcases owned by Mrs. Rockefeller.
You’re probably wondering about this supposed opossum owned by Mrs. Rockefeller by now, and I’m going to share that story with you. While touring the upstairs of the Rockefeller’s Jekyll Island home, Indian Mound, my son spotted a vintage (head included) stole laying on Mrs. Rockefeller’s bed. I could only speculate if this fine article was fox or mink, these things being a bit out of fashion now. Gabe was understandably disturbed by the sight of what appeared to a dead animal laying amongst some of Mrs. Rockefeller’s other possessions. He exclaimed, “I think their opossum died. Maybe they forgot to feed it?’ Mrs. Rockefeller might have rolled over in her grave at the thought that someone had confused her fancy stole for a opossum carcass. Jeremy, a few other visitors, and I got quite a laugh about Mrs. Rockefeller’s opossum; our tour guide didn’t find it nearly as amusing, probably because Gabe loudly shouted there was an animal upstairs. She was equally confused by his opossum proclamation; she thought he saw a live raccoon (common on the island). We’re still getting laughs about Mrs. Rockefeller and her opossum.
Mr. Rockefeller had an unmatched view of the Jekyll Island Club from their estate.
They also had a toy that Gabe was quite amused with.
The tour doesn’t stop once you leave the Indian Mound cottage. The tram will slow down in front of several of the other historic homes which provides ample time to take a few photographs of each.
The tour of historic Jekyll Island is definitely worth the cost of the ticket and your time, and I will not hesitate recommending it.
If you enjoyed this post, check back in a few days to read about another one of our adventures on the island visiting the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and about Jeremy’s adoption of a turtle named Rufus.
*For my readers interested in photography, all images in this post were shot midday using my Canon 7d and a Tamron Auto Focus 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 VC PZD All-In-One Zoom Lens without a tripod.